Plastic chemical found in nearly 500 foods sold in US

rtr1z1ly_siReuters / Mario Anzuoni

Nearly 500 food items commonly sold in the United States contain a chemical compound also used in synthetic leathers and yoga mats, but a health research and advocacy organization is aiming to change that.

Fast-food chain restaurant Subway made headlines earlier this month when it announced that it would no longer be including that compound — azodicarbonamide, or ADA — as a “dough conditioner” in the sandwich bread used in thousands of locations around the globe. But researchers at the Environmental Working Group say Subway isn’t the only guilty party, and that roughly 130 other companies mass-produce and sell an array of products that should have that chemical from their recipes as well.

According to a report released by that group on Thursday this week, consumers are just about as likely to find azodicarbonamide while at the grocery store as they would be inside a plastics factory. The Environmental Working Group, or EWG, has been constructing a database containing the ingredients of 80,000 foods sold across the US, and say Subway shouldn’t be the only ones changing their recipes.

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